MOVIE OF THE WEEK June 14, 2024: GHOSTLIGHT

The crushing weight of grief and the healing power of theater are explored with touching authenticity in Kelly O’Sullivan and Alex Thompson’s poignant dramedy Ghostlight. As it gradually reveals the heartbreaking loss at the center of its main characters’ lives, the film shows how the impact of that loss has left them all reeling, unable to move forward until one of Shakespeare’s most iconic plays helps them find a way to process it together.

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GHOSTLIGHT – Review by Loren King

This tender drama about a family grappling with grief is a paean to the transformative power of theater. If that sounds lofty, Ghostlight is anything but. It’s grounded in believable, well defined characters led by Keith Kupferer as Dan Mueller, a father fumbling through life in the wake of a tragedy but who begins to comes alive when he stumbles upon a community theater troupe and gets cast in their production of Romeo and Juliet.

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GHOSTLIGHT – Review by Pam Grady

A distinguished Chicago theater family and The Triangle of Sadness’ Dolly De Leon unite in this cinematic tour de force in which grief finds an outlet in the mounting of a play. Construction worker Dan (Keith Kupferer) copes with the loss of a family member by not really coping at all. He’s barely hanging on at his job, is increasingly remote from his wife Sharon (played by Kupferer’s real-life partner Tara Mallen), and at odds with his troubled teen daughter Daisy (Katherine Mallen Kupferer, who is the real life daughter of Keith and Tara). What remains of his energy is reserved for a long-odds wrongful death lawsuit that will never make him whole again even if it succeeds.

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SAINT FRANCES – Review by Barbara Goslawski

Saint Frances tackles some familiar issues in a refreshingly original way, exemplifying the importance of involving female voices in the telling of women’s stories. Written by star Kelly O’Sullivan and directed by Alex Thompson, Saint Frances dives deep into some of the most serious issues facing young women today and deftly invokes a distinctively lighthearted but compassionate vision of hope and healing.

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SAINT FRANCES – Review by Lois Alter Mark

Every once in a long while, a movie comes along that touches you on some visceral and unexpected level. For me, that movie is Saint Frances. Kelly O’Sullivan, who wrote the beautiful screenplay, stars as Bridget, a lost thirtysomething year old spending a summer as a nanny to six-year-old Franny (played to perfection by Ramona Edith Williams).

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SAINT FRANCES – Review by Carol Cling

Growing up is hard to do. Especially when you’re 34 years old and everybody — including you — thinks you should have done it long ago. That’s the central premise of the quietly droll, slyly observant Saint Frances, which captured two prizes at last year’s SXSW Film Festival: an Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature and a Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Voice.

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